The President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) launched a new College honour, the RCVS Queen's Medal, at an event in the House of Lords yesterday(12 November 2013).
RCVS President Col Neil Smith said: "It is a great privilege to launch this historic and inspiring new honour during my presidency. The Queen's Medal will be the most prestigious honour that the RCVS can bestow upon a veterinary surgeon and will be reserved for those whose distinguished careers and outstanding lifetime achievements deserve wider recognition."
The honour was created following a review of the RCVS honours system, which demonstrated the need for a new aspirational award.
The RCVS wrote to the Cabinet Office last year, together with letters of support from Peers and MPs, many of whom attended the reception, to request permission to name this new honour after Her Majesty the Queen.
"We are honoured that Her Majesty has supported the proposal and allowed the College to name the award after her, and express our sincere thanks to those Parliamentarians who supported our endeavour," added Col Smith.
The launch event was attended by parliamentarians and representatives of the profession, who were asked to assist the College in ensuring that it receives a strong portfolio of nominations for the honour, so that the first Medal may be awarded to a deserving candidate.
The first RCVS Queen's Medal will be presented at RCVS Day in July 2014.
Speaking at the reception, Lord Mackay of Clashfern said: "I am delighted to be hosting the launch of the RCVS Queen's Medal. Having watched my own daughter train and practise as a veterinary surgeon, I am fully aware of both the great efforts involved and the very important contribution that veterinary surgeons make to society."
The nomination form for the Queen's Medal can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/Queensmedal.
The event also provided the opportunity for the RCVS CEO, Nick Stace, to introduce the new three-year RCVS Strategic Plan, which sets out a series of ambitious reforms that will allow the College to become an exemplar of best regulatory practice.
The Strategic Plan can be downloaded from www.rcvs.org.uk/strategy.
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